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Keeping My Resolutions

June 20, 2012

I’m still enjoying my New Year’s Resolution to try new recipes.  Here are a couple of my recent successes.

First, I took this dish to a pool party.  It was well received and I barely had anything to bring home.  Which is a good thing, because it’s the kind of dish that you really don’t want to have for leftovers.  Very tasty on day one, but the sesame oil taste is tiresome to me on day two.  This recipe makes a big batch.  I had trouble mixing all the ingredients in my normal mixing bowl.  Be warned!

Cold Sesame Noodle Salad (from Woman’s Day)

  • 1 pound(s) spaghetti
  • 6 tablespoon(s) toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup(s) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon(s) grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) chili-garlic sauce
  •  Kosher salt
  • 4  Kirby cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and sliced – I used 3 regular cukes, seeded.
  • 4  scallions (white and light green parts), sliced – I skipped these
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 cup(s) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) peanuts, chopped


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and run under cold water to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, ginger, chiligarlic sauce and 1/2 tsp salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, scallions, carrots, cilantro and peanuts. Add the pasta and dressing and toss to combine.
  4. Place the noodles in resealable plastic containers. Before serving, shake them to redistribute the dressing. And don’t forget the utensils!

I brought this next dish to a picnic dinner.  It was a big hit, and the mayonnaise-free dressing gave me one less thing to worry about in the sun.  It’s based off of a Weight Watchers recipe, but I have to make several substitutions.  Leftovers the next day were still tasty and delicious.

Potato and Green Bean Salad (adapted from Weight Watchers)


24 oz uncooked potato(es), fingerling variety, scrubbed, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds  – I used regular new potatoes 
8 oz green snap beans, stem ends trimmed, cut into bite-size pieces
6 Tbsp fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth   – I used chicken boullion
1/4 cup(s) uncooked shallot(s), finely chopped
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar   – I used apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
3 Tbsp olive oil, extra-virgin
3 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped    – No tarragon at the grocery store, I skipped it.
3 Tbsp dill, fresh, chopped    – I used extra dill to compensate for the lack of other herbs.  Plus I just love dill.
3 Tbsp chives, fresh, chopped   – Skipped this too.


  • Put potatoes into a large pot. Fill pot halfway up with water; bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until almost tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add green beans and cook until potatoes are tender and green beans are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain; rinse under cold water and drain again.
  • Meanwhile, to make dressing, in a large serving bowl, whisk together broth, shallots, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Drizzle in oil, whisking, until blended; stir in tarragon, dill and chives.
  • Add potatoes and green beans to bowl; toss gently, taking care not to break up potatoes, until mixed and coated with dressing. Yields about 1 cup per serving.


  • You can cover and refrigerate the potato salad for up to 1 day.You can replace the tarragon, chives and dill with your favorite herbs or whatever you may have growing in the garden.

So there you have it – two recipes in a row with nary a mishap.  Hmmm, wonder if it’s because neither recipe called for fresh garlic.  Maybe there really is a garlic conspiracy?

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